Thomas Müller (33) will probably sit on the bench at Bayern for the start in Leipzig. Julian Nagelsmann on the role of the veteran.

It feels like a lot longer than “just” two months ago that FC Bayern recorded its tenth competitive match win in a row at Schalke. At that time, Thomas Müller also missed the final game for the Munich team to travel to the World Cup in Qatar with the national team as free of complaints as possible.

Although he succeeded in doing so, the 2014 World Cup winner will have to chalk up the result at least as a “so-so”. Müller has had a tricky six months with an unusually high number of injuries and illnesses. His last Bundesliga match was on 30 September (4:0 against Leverkusen), which was the turning point for Bayern. The 33-year-old was only involved in the subsequent run in the Champions League and the cup.

Müller the captain after Neuer’s absence

“He is still an extremely important and significant player for me,” Nagelsmann assured, praising Müller’s “good preparation”, commitment and willingness. “We are very much in exchange about content, as far as he is concerned; of course, also about content-related things that concern the entire team.” After all, Müller is now, after Manuel Neuer’s season out, the appointed captain.

However, the armband is likely to be worn by deputy Joshua Kimmich on Friday in Leipzig, as Müller will almost certainly sit on the bench for the time being. In attacking midfield, there is currently no way around Jamal Musiala, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting did not seem to have lost his goal-scoring qualities during the World Cup.

“He has a lot of experience,” Nagelsmann said of Müller. “He is also intelligent enough to see that ‘Choupo’ did very well and had a good rate. But he is also intelligent enough to know that he is world-class in a wide variety of positions. And we have a lot of games, so I don’t get scared with anyone that they don’t have enough playing time.”

In other words, with so many English weeks coming up right at the start, Müller will also start once again. “Don’t worry: he will still play a key role for Bayern Munich.